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NFL Network Cooks Up Jets Sandwich Quarterback Controversy

April 1st, 2012 | by Diamond Joe
NFL Network Cooks Up Jets Sandwich Quarterback Controversy
Diamond Joe's Media Rantz
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Proof that the usually courteous NFL Network has been overcome with Tebowmania: Their "Total Access" program on Friday spent five minutes breaking down a new sandwich inspired by Tim Tebow (inset) called "The Tebowich." And they inferred a Jets quarterback (sandwich) controversy between "The Tebowich" and Mark Sanchez's "Sanchini."

On this April Fool’s Day, I could easily write up an outrageous story that isn’t factual, but I wouldn’t want to sully the reputation of SportsRantz, especially on this day: not only is it the first anniversary of the website’s existence, but when you Google “sports radio shows,” SportsRantz is the first result that comes up. Yep. Before the Worldwide Leader. That’s awesome. And it’s awesome to be associated with a crew that bleeds awesomeness. Shout-out to Anthony and all of my colleagues.

But enough about success… Let’s talk about sandwiches.

Tim Tebow hasn’t even been a New York Jet for a full week, and he’s already got sandwiches created in his honor. Why, New York City’s renowned Carnegie Deli has whipped up a Tebow-inspired sandwich called the “Jetbow.” It’s the first custom selection from their menu to use white bread and mayonnaise. And it costs $22.22, which, according to the deli’s owner, is the result of adding Tebow’s jersey number with Mark Sanchez’s jersey number. (Somebody let the owner know that Tebow is not going to don the number 16; Sanchez has 6 and Tebow has 15).

Tebow has also inspired another sandwich in a place that you would expect such a sandwich to be created: the NFL Network cafeteria. NFLN’s “Total Access” actually devoted five minutes of their Friday edition to quarterback-inspired sandwiches in their own cafeteria – which is actually the Huddle West Cafe in Culver City.

I said at the top of this post that I wouldn’t write a fake story on this April Fool’s Day, but I wish that this wasn’t true. And you can watch the sandwich insanity for yourself right now on NFL.com. I don’t know if it was the impact of Warren Sapp not being on the program for the entire week (suspended? Hmmm) or if it was just a slow football news day, that gave them five extra minutes of airtime to fool around at the network eatery and send Andrew Siciliano to play the role of Andrew Zimmern.

Actually, it was Karl Matz, the head chef at Wolfgang Puck Worldwide based in Los Angeles, that was doing the cooking. He had actually started catering for NFL Network last March. In his rookie year at the network’s kitchen, he created, among other offerings, a sandwich for Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez: oven roasted  turkey, cheddar cheese, pesto, green onions on sourdough bread. It’s called “The Sanchini.” (It was close to being called “The Sancheezy.”)

But Siciliano informed Katz, “It’s not really doing that well… I think it needs something to push it. It needs some competition.”

So Katz started putting together a new sandwich that he says is “a little bit more sophisticated” and has “a lot of flavor going on.”

Katz calls it: “The Tebowich.”

The ingredients: Grilled angus skirt steak, marinated; imported Fontina cheese; roasted peppers; onions; tomatoes; aioli (garlic mayonnaise); all on grilled focaccia bread.

As Katz was doing his thing, Siciliano asked, “Is it good from the second you bite into it, or, kinda like Tebow, you have to wait till those last couple of bites to really be hit with the flavor?”

“It’s gonna get you at the very end,” Katz said. “Without a doubt.”

Siciliano: “You can’t figure out why it’s good… but it’s good.

Okay, so you made a sandwich inspired by Tim Tebow. That’s great. But did you have to kill valuable minutes of airtime with it?

In fact, a tweet sent by former Jets quarterback Ray Lucas during the show – that was actually “retweeted” in chyron form on “Total Access” toward the end of the program – says it all: “NFL Network just had a segment on Sanchez and Tebow sandwiches! Tell me this is not a circus already!”

And the worst part was when they roped in Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown to have a “taste test” between the two Jet-fueled sandwiches. After making a beeline for the “Tebowich,” he proclaimed, “It does taste better.” Yet, as Lindsay Rhodes immediately pointed out, “You haven’t even tasted [the Sanchini]!” Brown’s excuse: “I gotta get this one down first.”

“Can that sandwich beat out [the Sanchini],” Siciliano asked Brown, “because this sandwich right now is the incumbent.” After trying both sandwiches, it was no contest: Brown was “definitely” sold on the “Tebowich.”

And, of course, count on Siciliano to spin a fantasy football sandwich into football reality: “Do you think that might have any kind of bearing, because Rex Ryan likes to eat sandwiches, we would assume. I mean, if he had to pick sandwiches and pick quarterbacks…”

“Hopefully, he’d go with the Tebowich,” Brown suggested.

We’ll see if Tebow – the quarterback, not the sandwich – will make Brown eat those words: yes, the Steelers are scheduled to play the Jets at home this season.

By the way, did you know that Tim Tebow also has a drink named after him? It’s called “No Sex On The Beach.”

No foolin’.

TALE OF THE TAPE

SANCHINI: Oven roasted turkey, cheddar cheese, pesto, green onions on sourdough bread

TEBOWICH: Grilled/marinated angus beef flank steak, Fontina cheese, roasted peppers, onions and tomatoes with garlic aioli mayonnaise on grilled focaccia bread

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